The Environmental Impact of Renewable Energy

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The amazing thing about renewable energy resources is that they do not deplete. These energy resources include energies such as hydroelectric energy, solar energy, wind energy, and geothermal energy. The major advantage of using these resources is that the environmental impact is extremely low when compared to the use of fossil fuels and other energy processes. One of the most used renewable energy sources is hydroelectric power. When you look at all the environmental impacts of dams, etc., they seem to be a lot less devastating than those effects due to the use of coal and oil for producing energy. Some of the environmental impacts include major flooding due to the gigantic reservoirs that are formed by dams, which in turn makes certain areas of useful land worthless (Baird). Another impact is that the flow and quality of the water may be affected in ways that the dissolved oxygen content of the water will decrease, but this problem can be minimized with proper flow control (US Dept. of Energy). On the other hand, hydroelectric plants do not release any emissions such as carbon dioxide or sulfur dioxide, both of which increase to global warming and climate change. This is a tremendous advantage over fossil fuel use. Also, there isn't any need to worry about nuclear disasters like there is with the use of nuclear energy. Another renewable energy resource that has a lower amount of environmental impact is solar energy. Solar energy is created and used through the use of photovoltaic cells that collect the suns energy and then convert that energy into a useful form like electricity. As one would think when first asked about solar energy and photovoltaic cells, there aren't many environmental impacts associated with it. The o... ... middle of paper ... ...there isn't any negative impact on the environment due to renewable energy resources, but based on all the evidence, it seems that non-renewable resources such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum, all have a much more negative influence on the world around them. Works Cited AWEA. Wind Energy and the Environment. 2014. http://www.awea.org/faq/tutorial/wwt_environment.html#Bird%20and%20bat%20kills%20and%20other%20effects. Baird, Stuart. Geothermal Energy. 2013. http://www.iclei.org/EFACTS/GEOTHERM.HTM Baird, Stuart. Hydroelectric Power. 2014. http://www.iclei.org/EFACTS/HYDROELE.HTM Baird, Stuart. Photovoltaic Cells. 2013. http://www.iclei.org/EFACTS/PHOTOVOL.HTM Baird, Stuart. Wind Energy. 2012. http://www.iclei.org/EFACTS/WIND.HTM US Dept. of Energy. Environmental Issues and Mitigation. 4/27/2014. http://www.eere.energy.gov/RE/hydro_enviro.html

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